The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Felix Tshisekedi, says the M23 rebel group has not fully withdrawn from areas seized in the country’s east,

accusing the militia of faking an agreed pullback of its forces. According to an agreement brokered by regional leaders, the rebels were to withdraw from recently seized positions.

“Despite the international pressure, the group is still there,” Tshisekedi said on Tuesday during a panel session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“They pretend to move, they act like they are moving, but they’re not. They’re simply moving around, redeploying elsewhere, and they stay in the towns that they have captured,” he said.

His comments were the most outspoken from the Congolese authorities so far on how they view the implementation of the peace deal.

Regional leaders brokered an agreement in November 2022 under which the Tutsi-led group was meant to withdraw from recently seized positions by January 15

as part of efforts to end a conflict that has displaced at least 450,000 people. It has also sparked a diplomatic crisis between DRC and neighbouring Rwanda.